Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Remote Control America

My cool liberal agnostic coworker and I had a conversation this morning that distills something like this:

I told him how an acquaintance once told me that his life was very complicated, and consequently that he wanted his religion to be very simple, and that was why he was an Evangelical rather than a Catholic. I replied immediately that because I wanted my religious philosophy to be able to address my complicated life, I had to expect a certain degree of complexity in it.

My coworker, upon hearing this little anecdote said that he sensed America's pragmatism has veered into a sort of simplemindedness. It is as if we have started off by saying that we must keep our eye on the bottom-line; after a while, we began to say that the bottom-line was the most important thing; then we got to saying that the bottom-line was the only thing. Now at last we come to the point where we can't be bothered to do the math, but want the bottom-line read to us.

This pragmatism, perhaps after combination with a sense of entitlement, or with the sloth-induced stupor brought on by excess national wealth, seems to have degraded into a certain intellectual laziness. My thought is that this interior movement is articulated most frequently in the whine, "Can't you just pass me the remote control?" It makes you wonder how easy we must be to manipulate and gently control as long our first concern is not having to get up off the couch. If that doesn't work, a powerful dose of distractions, busyness, and nebulous fears should do the trick.

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